Your success is defined by the company you keep. It is true not only for life but running a business also. It does not matter if you are new or old in the business; the business alliances can be of great strength, provided you have chosen them well.
To guide our readers, to have the best of business alliances, we have summarized here a few important points to keep in mind.
Improve Your Alliance Relationships When Running A Business
1. To have an alliance in the complimentary business is good, but ensure that they also share the same values, ethics and approach to business. It will ensure that you shall be able to understand each other better.
2. The clash can appear on clients if they are common. A competitor may not be a good alliance. So discuss the client base with prospective business alliance to check that you do not have the common customers for the same products and services.
3. You must know clearly your expectation from the arrangement and what you want to achieve through the alliance. There has to be clearly defined purpose and value addition for both the parties to make the arrangement work.
4. The alliances do not work overnight. You have to be patient enough so that both understand each other’s business well. It may take anything from 6 to 12 months to make the arrangement work for best of benefit to both parties.
5. To make the alliance work, regular communication is a must. Plan to meet regularly, may be once in a quarter, to discuss the purpose and progress of the arrangement. Maintaining regular communication through e-mail, phone and sharing info on the progress made in pre-defined directions is a good way to make the relationship move in the right direction.
6. One main purpose of having a strong alliance is to get referrals. That is why it is a must that you do not share the same customers for the same business. At the same time, do not expect referrals the next day. It will take time so spend the time wisely by trying to understand each other’s businesses.
7. You can place your business cards with your alliance partner so that they can hand it over to the prospective clients or referrals. You can also develop a methodology to make your alliance refer a customer to you.
8. When you get a referral from an alliance, keep informing them of the progress with the account. Of course, remember to say thank you! Tell them if it was a good referral or not. If not, tell them why so that next time they make the right move. If it is good, it will have them understand the account better, something good for their own business.
9. To keep the alliance fresh, make sure that they are timely updated of the changes in your products and services to be able to inform the prospective clients better. Also make sure that you and your team are fully informed about the alliance to be able to guide a good client to them.
Only when you are able to think both ways and have clear road map to what you want to achieve for both the partners to the alliance, can you make something concrete to come out of the arrangement.
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